Moving Off While Drawing and Shooting

Live fire shooters are often encumbered with moving drills and skills because of safety issues. If a line of shooters do a “step and shoot” drill, the instructor sometimes looks like a chorus line choreographer. You know the routine. Draw while stepping to the right and shoot. Draw while stepping to the left and shoot. With just a step, shooters are still maintaining a rather frontal, full-body, target offering to an enemy – especially if they shoot with two hands – and not turning to say, run while drawing. If moving is key? If moving to cover is vital? Shouldn’t we be busting off right or left?

     These answers can be better examined with simulated ammo guns, interactively. But, once you do these “step-and-shoot” drills with an actual opponent shooting back at you, and the opponent is fairly close, you begin to realize that the idea is not as successful as conceptualized. The other guys still shoots you rather easily. This is not to say you shouldn’t shoot and move, it’s rather to say, don’t expect miracles.

     Miracles like…invisibility! Invisability? There are very prominent instructors who still adhere to the cardboard tube theory of stress. They believe that when stressed out,  adreanlized, their vision becomes blinding, tunnel vision. Essential a cardboard tube. 

     They actually use the term “cardboard tube.” And they teach that if you move aside, even just a step, you will become invisible to your opponent. They use the word “invisible.” This cardboard tube idea has been disproven, and replaced by simple “target focus,” and simple “attention focus” explanations. You are looking at, zeroing in on, what’s important that second and your memory is not recording surrounding outside things and events for that second. Remember that researchers can only ask questions of your memory of incidents after the event, and base their “tubular” conclusions on your memory. You were not blind. You were just focused. The cardboard tube analogy is rather misleading nonsense and confuses reality and students.

      Right-handed, American football quarterbacks are admired when they dash to the right and throw well “cross-body.” Coaches say this is a special skill. Most times they can throw better as they dash to left and not throw cross-body. I think the same applies to shooting pistols. Will your opponent be right-handed (9 out of 10 people) and naturally choose to step or dash to their left and avoid the cross-body awkwardness? What direction will you “naturally” run in? Will you step or will you dash?

     (Oh, and by the way, a study of captured videos, body cams etc, show quite a number of shooters who DON’T move and just stand and shoot, and win, too!)

    Get the sims guns out and get busy!


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This is a segment form Hock’s upcoming book, Footwork and Maneuvering:  From the “Ring to the Obstacle Course” with Applications to Indoor and Outdoor Rural, Suburban and Urban Surfaces – due out in Fall, 2018

Pistol Disarms, Etc. in the Land of NO-Guns.

I do hear the…

– “I’ll never have a gun, so why should I…” and,
– “I can’t/don’t own a gun, so why should I…” and,
– “I don’t like guns (or knives), so I’ll NEVER have one.”
– You get the picture. The blind, never-never land excuse.

     …speeches from all the world.  People doing self-defense yet don’t want to hear anything about guns (or knives too). It is ironic because many of the naysay, narrators also do various forms of Krav Maga –  systems often chock, so chock full of pistol disarms, and some from the most bizarre positions.

     Whether you are a person doing martial arts that are supposed to be realistic too, or a Krav person, cop, or military, whatever, you are probably messing around with pistols and pistol disarms. Or you should be, even in the magical, lucky charms lands of NO-Gun.  You’ll maybe do disarms, but it ends there. Does it?

     No. With a pistol disarm, 2 things will happen to the gun after you disarm.

One – The gun will hit the “floor,” or…

Two – …the gun will now be in your hand. Are they virgin hands?

     This is the point I am trying to get to. AFTER the disarm. Do you have gun-virgin-hands? SUDDENLY, no matter who you are, and where you live? What you say and think – you are now suddenly, like it or not, a “gun guy!” Do you know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of? How this gun works? Do you know where the “on and off” switch is (as USA Gun-God Clint Smith has nicknamed the safety. Is there one?) Does the gun need a real, quick, common, simple “fix.” You know what they are? 

     And if the recently disarmed guy comes back for his lost gun? Now you have to worry about your “pistol retention” vs his “pistol recovery.” (two old, decades, decades old terms in the gun-fighting world. Ever heard of them? Heard of one? Not the other? ) These terms not in your language?  

     The history of war and crime is replete with people getting the guns of other people and knowing, or not knowing, how to use them.  Remember Tunisia? The Jihadist with a sub machine gun that killed all those people on the beach? The security guard with his own sub-gun, dropped the gun and ran away. A tourist to the rescue? A tourist picked up the sub-gun to kill the bad guy and…and…well…jeez. Couldn’t work it. The tourist was from a NO-gun country and probably never thought he would see, hold or use a gun. Surprise!

     Aron Takac, an instructor in Serbia says ” I remember the seminar in 2011. The instructor was currently one of the most wanted in the shooting industry, and he was talking about rifle disarms. Two guys from Norway said, “There are no guns in our country, we don’t need this”. Not two months later Utaya Island attack happened. Breivik killed 77 people.”  There is a long, international list of such events.

     It is a hand, stick, knife, gun world. No matter where you live. No matter what the local laws are. As a result of this reality, I have been teaching “gun-arm grappling” with any kind of simulated ammo guns I can get my hands on for over 20 years now, as far away as Australia. And yet, for some people this stuff is new…or fairly new? Invented in the last few years or so. It is not new. As another famous gun instructor Dave Spaulding likes to say, “It’s not new. It’s just new to you.”

     Gun crimes occur EVERYWHERE in the world. And, ever hear of terrorism? In the “who, what, where, when, how and why” of life, it is important to predict and prioritize your high stat encounters. Even in the NO-gun world around you. Sure. Prioritize, but not ignore realities. It has and will, behoove all so-called, “self defense” practitioners to do some work on, to deal with, hand, stick, knife, gun while standing, kneeling/seated and on the ground. Or just realize what you are doing a sport for a hobby with some very good or perhaps bad abstract benefits.

     Prioritize. A good instructor organizing a class, thinks of these things as training time minutes and, or percentages. No matter the subject. How many minutes in night class? How many hours in a day class? How many days in a week class, should be spent on any particular subject? It’s the totally ignoring something by way of thoughtless excuses  that is a doctrine problem.

     Sometimes I think about deathbed interviews of people. How many 75 or 80 year-old regular folks/citizens on their deathbed can say, “I’ve never been punched in the face. Why do so many people do these martial arts? Odds are they will never be punched in the face.” Most people. many people. Most people have never been a victim of crime, attacked or punched or shot at. Some cops got through their entire careers and are never punched in the mouth. Is this a “throw-down” excuse not to train…anything then? “Odds are it won’t happen? Why bother with unarmed vs unarmed material, then? Why bother with pistols? Why bother with anything then?  

So, please do re-think things about these excuse, throw-down lines – “I live in a country without guns, so I’ll never…”

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Knocked Out on the Ground From a Kick

    We all hear about how ground wrestlers shouldn’t wrestle in the proverbial “street fight,” and one reason name-dropped is the catch phrase “multiple opponents.”  In the win-some/lose-some in real life, our lives, my life, I have a pivotal story about this, and some lessons learned. I wound up in the hospital.

    Back in 1980 I and other officers were dispatched to a “big fight.” Two fraternities fighting in the basement of a large frat house. The college police were there and needing help. Who they gonna call? The city police. When we got there it was a mess. About 30 guys fighting in and out of the building. And so, we made our way into the melee and tried to…”stop it.”  It looked like the brawls I was use to as an Army MP when units would get drunk and fight, or just fight without getting drunk.

    So, this was not my first rodeo, so to speak. I got inside the large basement – which was actually the first floor – and tried separating people when suddenly for some reason, the rush of humanity pushed and pulled about 10 or fifteen of us down on the cement floor. It was as they say, asses and elbows, and everything else, including feet as I found out later. Kicks.

    Suddenly, I was knocked out. Other officers told me that they saw it happen. Another college guy got up into a crab walk position, crab walked a few feet over to me, from the crab, from behind my head, and thrust kicked me in the head. I never saw it coming, so to speak.

    Numerous people were arrested and my sergeant decided it was time to leave. He said,

“Somebody go over there and wake Hock up.”

    They said they slapped me awake. I was out, out cold in a nauseous dream. They told me I was out for about 15 minutes. Maybe 20. If you are in the “knock-out and brain business?” You know this is really bad. They helped me up and I stood, trying to unscramble my brains. I was floating on another planet as I got to my squad car, and I actually drove with the caravan back to the station. It was near the end of the evening shift. And I floated to my car, and sick and confused, and drove home.

    At home, I started vomiting and I couldn’t think straight. My wife drove me to the hospital with my head hanging out the window like a dog. They gave me drugs and kept me over night for observation. You know…concussion. It was a bad night of bad, whack-job thoughts. Two days later? Back to work.

    It’s funny but I can still remember part of what I was dreaming on the basement floor. I was at some carnival. If I try to hard to recall it? I can feel the beginnings of getting nauseous again. It’s a brain damage, rabbit hole. We counted up the times I have been knocked out and it comes to 14. Two car wrecks, two kick boxing, two boxing, I fell on some rickety, odd-shaped stairs trying to arrest a guy one night. Twice in baseball (odd stories) well 14 “I am out, bubba” incidents. Now brainey-ologists tell you that little mini-second black outs start adding up too. Oh crap! I have been tested to have brain damage with symptoms too complicated to explain here as a side issue.

    Part of me wonders, how anyone today can box, kick box, Thai, MMA long term and never be knocked out? Not once? I meet these “virgin” people. I guess it’s old school training that bazookas your brain? (I know the competitors get knocked out once in a while and they are really trying to limit that. I say “good.”)

    I learned that I can control the symptoms somewhat with good sleep (and solid REM dreaming) and a simple diet, and some daily, almost aspirin-like medication. I have an odd problem with dreams and it’s too long to explain here.

    But back to the main issue. I was knocked out on the ground by a kick in a multiple opponent scrap. And as I said starting out, we all hear about how ground wrestlers shouldn’t wrestle in the proverbial “street fight,” but I want to add that you absolutely must learn and hone wrestling/ground fighting. A mixed-weapon style with a consistent filter for survival.

    A real expert ground fighter, Catch, BJJ, etc. can and will still eat up your standing (or ground) incoming arms and legs into arm bars and leg bars. But, they have to be fast, AND…they see to see the damn things coming.  


    “Hi Hock, i really enjoy your website.   It is definitely the best on the internet covering all areas of self defense.   In response to you being knocked out by a kick to the head, something similar happened to me, when i was with the PD prior to my retirement.   In the early hours of my shift on a weekend, several officers and i were dispatched to a large biker party, in a back yard.   Upon arrival, approximately 60 subjects were present.   There were 8 officers including myself present.   A fight began and one officer was on the ground attempting to handcuff a suspect.   I dropped to my knees to assist and the next thing i realized i was in the back of a patrol car in route to the hospital.   I had blood running out of my mouth and it felt like I had gravel in it.   Upon arrival, I was checked for injuries, and the gravel turned out to be shattered teeth.   I had been kicked under the jaw by some punk with steel toed boots.        Three of my bottom back molars on each side were shattered from slamming my jaw together.   The guy went to jail and got 30 days.   To this very day i have TMJ but things could have been worse.  Take care and stay safe.”   Doug Boal, RET..


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Your Head Might Explode?

(I thought I would add this here, from my response to a friend’s entry elsewhere about “what and why” they teach at their school)

It’s tricky – this school mission, as well as personal mission statement.

     The school – the school business needs to stay alive and offer many things. People have diverse interests and hobbies. I always say that no matter how important I think what I teach is…in the end, I am still but an obscure, organizer and administer of hobbies. People’s hobbies shift and change. You will be replaced by things like tennis.

     Otherwise on a personal “fighting” level, you can collect 15 different ways to do one thing. Like a collector. But, your head will eventually explode with all these flavored options. You will…as they say…”lose your way.” Or you can study the “15” things to find the best way to do that one thing. (or at times, construct the best thing from the “15 experience.”) Checkers, not chess.

     When constructing my Force Necessary program, the very name of the thing, begs the question, “If there is a “Force Necessary,” then there must be a “Force UN-necessary,” angle to it. This gave me a clear mission statement to work on. To search for the “15” things to find the 1 thing. So, you, I, can never stop searching for the better way, whether we are survivalists or hobbyists seeking fun and more fun. Or for just the physical exercise of it. We are standing out there on the floor learning new things.

     This “checkers from chess search” creates generic tenets and certain mandatories. We need a mature, experienced filter to sift through all this stuff, to ask those questions and determine,

“That won’t work.”
“That is just not necessary.”

     I will never ridicule someone’s hobbies, as long as they know what they are doing is a hobby. For example medieval sword fighting is not going to help a cop or citizen in an ambush. I pick extremes here, but there are martial arts/schools chock full of unnecessary things.

     One of my seasoned friends was at a martial fad/pop-star martial arts seminar recently, at a tomahawk session, and frustrated with all the razzle-dazzle shown, he asked the pop-star, 

“Why not just hit the guy in the head?
“Where’s the fun in that?” the pop star answered.

     And there you have it.


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“We Wuz Here First!” “We Wuz Here Last!”

     There is a clever meme and some quotes going around now that claim “you can’t have an illegal alien on stolen ground.” You know – words to that effect. You can’t declare someone an illegal alien if you stole the ground, kind of message. Very esoteric. But historically shallow. And not realistic.

     Think for a moment about ALL the civilizations of the world, world history since…since the beginning. Think of the travel. The wars. The kingdoms. The empires. They do come and go through time. Animals even fought for turf. One of the first “smart” books I read decades ago as a teen was Ardrey’s “The Territorial Imperative.” I think his ants/bugs, animal/human research still stands (please tell me if otherwise?). Life fights for territory, and life fights to keep it.

     Tribes. Churches. Governments. EVERYONE through time, took the lands and the people of everyone else in a never-ending, geographic, musical chairs. Enslaving. Killing. Maiming. Controlling. Who are the original owners of what anymore? (I have been following some work – see below – that even native American genes have European DNA.)

     Before memes, decades ago, there were expressions going around (without the web? How? But somehow “going around”) that – the “guys with the biggest guns are always in charge.” Words to that effect.

     There is plenty of evidence that mankind is getting safer, less violent and better. But, then and even right now, it seems the guys with the biggest guns, biggest gates, biggest walls get to call the “whose-in, whose-out, shots, no matter who was there before, no matter how much it philosophically/esoterically “smarts.”

“We wuz here first!”
“Yeah, well…we wuz here last.”

     It’s nice to make clever memes and all with Indians and Eskimos and so forth. In just about any country you could have memes with the “pre-race/group” people, before the church, or the Romans, the Zulus, or the vikings, or whoever marched in to wherever. But the memes don’t mean much in the “guns-gates-walls” equation.

     This is no excuse to screw over people, nor any justification for past, present, or future war, trauma, drama. I am just reminding the poetic, esoterics/memers of short-history perspective. How far back do you want to go? “Who had the last “lease?” And the lease before that? And the lease before that?

(Hey, please email me with any pristine lands or islands you can think of with their absolute original occupants still there, but also free of war, even tribal war. Interesting to collect a list.)


More on this – Audrey’s The Territorial Imperative 


More on this – Diamond’s Gun , Germs, Steel


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Seizing Guns. We did. We do.

Seizing guns. We use to do it. Do police seize guns? Yes. How long have they? Long time.

     In May 2018, a Quinnipiac poll suggested Texas Voters are in favor of stricter gun regulations. The Quinnipiac survey also showed very high support for requiring background checks among gun buyers, at 93% support. The study surveyed only 1,029 registered voters from across Texas – keep in mind – the current population of Texas is nearing 30 million people, and I don’t know who all “Quinny” asked “across the state?”
     But there indeed does some to be a common consensus in Texas and the USA for more serious background checks.  AND…some support for snatching up the guns of crazy people as the police come upon them.
     Yes, another request from various police authorities is for more “fast-gun-snatching” from on the scene, touchy situations and from odd, crazy people. This plucks at the “due process” heartstrings of American law. But I am here to tell you, there was, once upon a time, an era when we police snatched up guns without things like a molasses, judicial exam. We use to seize some guns in the old days. No warrants. No judges. No hearings. No process. Just us on the street. By God, we just took em!
“This plucks at the “due process” heartstrings of
American law.”
     This was years before the “dead fingers” lingo and logos of today. Years before the contentious liberal vs NRA battles. Just took em.’ So, here’s a piece of police history on that I was a witness to and part of.
     Texas policing and military policing. In the 1970s and 80s in my necks of the woods, if we were sent to a “hot” call/situation, we would assess the deal. The people. The past, present and future. We very often knew the people involved. Drugs? Booze? Prior violence? If we determined that there might-be/could-be motive for future violence within the next 24 or even 36 hours? Or suicide? And we knew there were guns thereabouts? And we couldn’t make an arrest for some legal reason? It was not uncommon to get the guns in various domestic disturbances, assaults, neighbor quarrels, anything that your common sense on the scene might predict stewing, brewing violence after we left. To my memory nothing bad happened afterward. And, no one complained about the gun…confiscation either. Weird huh? We would snatch up the guns and explain:
     “Look, based on what we have here? I think I am going to take these guns. So there are no problems after I leave. Nobody gets hurt. Everyone cools down (or sobers up).”
     “Huh, what? How do I get them back?” they would ask.
     “You are going to have pay a visit to the police chief. If he thinks you’re okay? He’ll give em’ all back to you.”
     Usually it was just one gun. Or two? If we did this on a Friday night, the guy, or gal, but usually a guy, would have to wait until at least Monday to see the Chief. We would unload the guns, lock the guns up in the corner of the police chief’s office with a copy of the incident report taped to the barrel. Then, the next “bidness” day, an appointment was made. The Chief would sit for awhile with the person and talk to them, lecture them, and then almost always give them the guns back. Rarely, he would wait a few extra days if he thought more cooling was in order. Can you imagine the Dallas police chief doing such a thing these days? Atlanta? BALTIMORE? If there wasn’t a dystopian revolution first, the counseling appointments at the chief’s office alone would take more than a full time job.
     In the Army it wasn’t the police chief. It would be an MP Captain, or the Provost Marshal (like the police commissioner). It could be the guy’s unit commander. Or even a lessor officer we might reach. Then he became that guy’s “unit problem.” Remember this was a person living on the base and subject to the varied, old, military, base-by-base, rules of gun ownership. Which could also be and could still be, a little crazy despite the 2nd Amendment.
     How did this happen back then, in a world with a 2nd Amendment? Cold dead fingers? The gun laws were a hodge-podge mess in many states and so too in Texas way back then. In our city and in many cities and counties, if you wanted to “legally” carry a gun, you often just got a letter from the police chief or county sheriff to do so.  Yet, another meeting, appointment with the big man. A person, let’s say one with a business who took money to the bank each day, or someone with a crazy uncle or ex-husband, etc, got a letter from the chief or sheriff to carry a gun. So in “backwoods law,” ye old chief/sheriff was considered to be somewhat of a local authority on gun ownership and carry. Best have it with you. I have been shown a number of such letters through the years. Reading them with my flashlight in the middle of the night at some incident or traffic stop.
     I lived in a rural Georgia county for a time  in the 1990s. South of Chattanooga and well north of Atlanta. To carry a handgun there, all you had to do was go to the county seat courthouse and simply sign a “gun book,” a thick, old-school, official, leather ledger. When my wife and I did sign the book, as we are gun people –
     “So, there’s no training or anything with this?” I asked the county, holy-keeper-of -the-gun-book.
     He looked at me funny and said, “No. And old people can’t be running around on a gun range, training. And they have a right to defend themselves too.”
      Too old to train? He’s right. Today, many ignorant liberals think first “no guns,” then “if guns?” a gun owner needs to first pass a Navy SEAL shooting program just to have a bedside pistola. I’m sure Atlanta has other rules.
     But, time marched on. In the mid-1980s, the more “modern” the police chief we got in as time went on, the less this gun-pick-up would happen. Finally it quit altogether, just slowly evolved away. For one reason, I don’t think the modern police chief or elected sheriff wanted such personal involvement with real people’s, ground zero problems. Meanwhile big cities had rules. Smaller ones didn’t. Rural counties didn’t. Everybody seemed to have one gun anyway.
     Time marched on and as other states defined their concealed carry laws, Texas did too, a little behind the curve. Much of Texas was and still is rural with boars, rattlers, coyotes, rabid dogs and raccoons, gators down east and a half a dozen other things that need occasional killing. Many Texicans had and still have a shotgun in a rack in the back window of their pick up. This ain’t Berkeley or New York City, nor DC, bubba. Don’t be telling us what to do. You have no idea what happens out on the mesa! In the Piney Woods. Or for that matter, Deep Ellum in Dallas.
     The laws, the ideas, the political movements change. Today, such gun seizing of yesteryear could become lawsuits and demonstrations and big news coverage. 2nd Amendment horrors. But back then, no one objected to this quiet, casual “policy,” as the general public thought it was a good idea, it wasn’t abused, and therefore, we had the authority to do so. Like I said, this was well before the “dead fingers” lingo and logos of today.
     I know this idea is freaking people out, but this was not about the police going door-to-door and collecting guns like the Oath-Keepers worry about. This is a very small-scale, situational. Today, when various police chiefs and sheriffs want stronger laws to pre-empt things like school shooters and so forth, I think this sort of the model they are asking for. With the establishment of current carry gun laws, with the implementation of quick arrest policies in domestic disturbances, and other modern protocols, many of the reasons to just seize guns in hot situations are gone. There are now other, more established, legal alternatives/solutions to hot situations.
     But what about predicting future crime? 12 hours? 24 hours? A school shooting? You’re on the scene and you think something could happen tomorrow, or next week at the church, beauty salon or a school? 
     Texas Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a 40-point plan for improving school safety in late May, 2018. The plan mentions a potential “red flag” law that would allow judges to temporarily take guns away from people deemed to be dangerous if there is legal due process. Abbott didn’t call for legislators to pass such a law — he instead wants to “encourage” lawmakers to “consider the merits” of adopting it. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus took him up on that late Wednesday and instructed a committee of the lower chamber to study such legal provisions. Study! Study, Studies. Chin-rubbing. Head-scratching. Wind-blowing.  Hem-hawing. How is all that going to work exactly?
    I would be curious to know of other veteran officers around the country had these olden-days policies? I already know some did and still do in Arizona, Illinois, North Caroline, California, Oklahoma and Missouri from friends. Contact me with stories. Did you? Do you still?.
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“Cadena De _____,” or “Chain of the _______”

 As taught to me from several FMA instructors from the Presas Family to the Inosanto family, going back decades, the classic “Chain of the____ (fill in the blank)” drills were an important stage in training progressions.

Chain of the Hand – cadena de mano
Chain of the Stick – cadena de baston
Chain of the Knife – cadena de daga

     It essentially is blocking (as in hitting the attack very hard), then grabbing the attacking limb with your free/support hand. Or grabbing the attacking stick itself too, if that’s the case. Shoving the grab out of the way and hitting back with your hand, or your stick, or your knife. From….

From the outside right position
From the inside right position
From the inside left position
From the outside left position
From above, right or left
From below, right or left

     It, in my opinion is usually practiced too cavalierly and too slowly and can create a false sense of speed and success versus fighting in real time for unenlightened students.

     And, it might be best against a diminished fighter – one already cracked in the head or say – knee, or against one who is quickly out of gas. Or, is untrained and nonathletic, drugged, etc… Some might call it “second tier” options. But watch the guys who make a living teaching this like I have seen in the Philippines and they are VERY fast and can snatch a fast limb or a speedy stick with good success. In fact, when I was about 30 years old and doing this stuff all the time, I got pretty good at it too. But, it ain’t easy. And remember not everyone you fight is a speedy boxer or stick fighter. Have you seen the Youtube clips lately? Grabbing is not impossible.

     The word “chain” is used in many martial ways. We hear it in everything from chain punching to grabs to machine guns. These concepts go back to Europe also, and passed through the Philippines, as you will hear versions of these “Espanyol-ish” terms back in Spain, Portugal and Italy. We are quick to credit the Philippines for a lot of stuff, but we shouldn’t be so quick. I have seen the move in karate, American Apache knife fighting. Or football even (even roller derby!). You want to call it Wing Chun trapping hands? You can! Tapi-Tapi? Sure? Looks like Balintawak? Yes. As Remy would often say “it is all de same.”

     Chaining with weapons: You’ve hit the attacking limb so hard, he drops the weapon! Yeah. Bloody good for you (this impact is trained in a progression series). But, what if he doesn’t drop the weapon? Well, crap! But maybe you have at least diminished his grip with a little pain? But sometimes your impact/block STOPPED his incoming attack. Stopped it long enough to be grabbed. This grab, is…the “chain of…something.” If you have virtually stopped or really slowed down an incoming attack, you might have a chance to grab the limb.

     This, as explained to me so long ago I can’t remember by whom, – that hand grab, that hand catch, is the first “link” of survival. The first link of the chain. Link-Chain. Get it? Thus the “Chain of Something” has an official name for a chapter in training lifestyles. Thank you very much.

     Of course, the next step in the chain is to block or stop that incoming strike after YOU’VE been grabbed. Then you, then he, then you, then he, then, then. Then…then you have a system of study for hand, stick and knife. I use the universal, unforgettable, Combat Clock for angles of attack, but you apply your chosen hobby’s angle of attack system to play the the “Then-Then” game. This ain’t brain surgery or rocket science.

     Many martial artists and systems use this chain concept. Remy used the “Chains” too, These close-up “Chain” events. This area of course, is just a segment of a fight. I think some stick systems spend entirely TOO MUCH TIME here at the expense of other problems (like stick dueling for one). In the olden days, Remy was a real mover and head-banger and he spent copious amounts of time making us swing sticks and hit as hard as we could at longer ranges. Ernesto too.

     Remy was fond of showing things and then stopping, looking at us and saying to us, “Of course, you could just hit the man in the head with a stick, but I want you to learn the art.”

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Dukes up! Another Kind of “Boom Stick.”

     For decades now, I have spotted “sloppiness, bad structure here and there in training, be it during my old Texas school of the 80s and 90s, or years on the road in seminars. Dropping hands. Sloppy finishes of strikes, or striking sets. For some people this is not a problem as they return to integrity after each move.

    Others? Not so much. I have taped a boxing glove to a stick, stood behind a feeder and clobbered trainees that don’t cover themselves well when punching and kicking mitts, pads, shields. The recalcitrant, seeing me behind the trainer, seeing this pending boom, suddenly seem to cover well, but often when I walk away? The sloppiness might return?

     I can only hope that when before a real threat, they also worry not about a boom stick, but about a real punch, and they also cover so well? But, boom stick or not, in training mitt drills, in kicking shield drills, they/you must maintain good integrity and structure for good habits. 

Dukes up!

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Breaking Hand and Fist Bones When Punching

     Just about everyone knows by now, that “bare-knuckle” punching upon parts of the head can be damaging. Specifically I like to remind people that it is the “bicycle helmet” area of the skull, especially prominent, especially manifesting, when an opponent naturally ducks or ducks-and-turns versus your punches. You hit the “helmet.” Broken hands. Split knuckle breaks. Etc. (Boxing gloves hide all this angst.)

Otherwise, lower, the jaw moves and the head can move when punched, helping to “cushion” your punches – jeez – is cushion is a good word for it? “Gives,” maybe? The head “gives,” or “gives-way” with lower punches. (Think about why we wear mouthpieces.)

     There are just times when the neck gets solid, coupled with the ducking “bike helmet zone” and punching folks break their hands. I really don’t want to dissect this, you know, start the tiresome, age-old debate about palm-strikes versus punches again here…what I really want to specifically mention here is, tell a simple tale about uppercuts to the jaw. What if the head, neck, jaw, even shoulders tighten up versus an incoming uppercut, punch?

Decades ago I had to punch a guy I was arresting. An uppercut under his arm like in this photo. My hand hit his particularly sharp jaw and instantly hurt my “middle finger.” While I was booking him into jail, I looked at his jaw. Real pointy, for what that’s worth. Years later? I had surgery to fix this finger. I have hit a few “heads though time,” closed fist punches and had no other – zero- hand injuries. (They can be done.) Once, a swollen ring finger. But nothing serious. Then, a middle finger problem on my right hand seems to have gone away with time. But this one uppercut caused years of on-again/off-again discomfort. Then surgery.

So, way back then, I began to consider and list uppercuts as a tricky head punch along with hitting the bicycle helmet area of the head. I would be remiss not to mention while on this subject that that the uppercut usually/often causes the head to whip back and forth, not leaving the head back for follow-ups, such as a high hook, unless you are super fast. A number of combatives people, trying to set up scenarios, often do not know this.

Recently one of my friends, a pro-fighter whose name you’d recognize, wearing the regulation MMA gloves, threw an uppercut to a jaw in a pro fight. He broke his hand. Here is his x-ray. He passed it to me for educational purposes and I now pass it to you. But we are not sure yet if we should release his name for a host of reasons. Maybe later. He does hit really hard. Word is the other guy saw it coming and “hunkered” down. SNAP!

File under: Uppercuts to the jaw. 
File under: Punches to the “bicycle helmet” area of the head.
File under: Head, jaw, neck, even shoulders when punched

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I Was a Teenage…Teenager!

     A teenage cave…aahh “person.” Yeah, cave person. It must have been tough being a teenage cave person as in the movie and poster attached to this suggests. You were pretty stupid about your rocky or jungle surroundings. Your world. Didn’t know that movie dinosaurs, giant snakes and giant bugs were everywhere. Quicksand. Strange tribes of semi-monsters in various stages of their evolution roamed. Didn’t understand sex real well. Fire was new and cool. But somehow, as in the movie, still had hairspray and fingernail polish. Is that much different than teenagers today?

Lots of the “I was a Teenage….this or that monster” movies, comics and books. Like a teenage werewolf. Some teenagers are little monsters. Remember the expression “raging hormones?” If you have grown kids. Then you know they were once teenagers. Teenagers are often, generically a real pain in the ass. That’s life. If you have young kids? Gird your loins because a lot might REALLY change around teenage time. Is their hope in all these prehistoric hormones?

I too was a stupid teenager, probably a monster at times, were you? I can’t tell you just how stupid I was. I was also pretty stupid in my twenties too. Maybe I got a bit smarter when I hit about 30 or so, but I still question that. Not sure where I am on the stupid chart today either. I should not have been trusted with what I was trusted with back then, in what was once called by advertisers as the “Wonder Bread” years. (that’s growen’ up years and you needed all the nutrients of white bread to survive).

It always seems like teenagers of every generation demonstrate and even riot. Doesn’t it? Like clockwork. Always something to rant about. Lots of “teenager talk” these days too, huh? Teenagers recently descended upon DC and other cities lately over gun control. It was a liberal hoopla, holiday. Better than Christmas! Never let a tragedy go to waste. Although crowd counters say that the groups were only 20% teenagers. 80% of adults – many of whom always show up with all the required anti-this, anti-that, pro-this-or-that liberal stuff. They are so organized! Buses. Hotels. Placards! All those signs! The news says that the usual, dare I say “suspects,” paid large chunks of money to bankroll it all. These suspects are a wicked little ring of interconnected complainers. A big circle that even includes George Soros and Louis Farrakhan. But who cares, right? Soros. He’s like an unmasked Darth Vader.

Remember the 1968 movie, “Wild in the Streets?” Of course you don’t. But it was about US teenagers voting in a 24 year old president Max Frost. If you are a dipshit hippy this is great news. Also for Bernie Saunders fans because young and old minds of mush, with no math skills or grasp of history have hope. Ahhh, the road to Venezuela.

A rare few of these teenage monsters though became school and church shooters. But this is really rare. I mean REALLY, really rare. Look at the big picture. 340 million Americans. Some 340 million-plus firearms out there. If you believed the media, liberals and these teenagers, we would all be dead by now. Same thing with video games. Yet, we have some 30,000 high schools, some 90,000 elementary schools. Some 6,000 colleges. These places are doing business some 180 days a year. Then think of summer school. It’s more. Some 70 million “kids” are in school. Then add in the years to this equation. Crunch the math, run the numbers and see how unbelievably, incredibly safe American schools and kids are every day. Every year. Then run these same number categories on churches. I think it is hard for teenagers to grasp this safety. It is also hard for under-developed, short-sighted adults to grasp this too. Under-developed?

Apparently John Adams said this first, and it has been altered and re-quoted and requoted and it’s a concept I have grown to believe, give or take a few years of age…

“If You Are Not a Liberal When Young, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative When Old, You Have No Brain.”

     But under-developed? It is common knowledge in the brain industry that the human mind if not injured, brainwashed or abused, it is not fully formed/functional until about 25 years of age. TWENTY-FIVE! Not 16, 18, even 21. This accepted science will not manifest over into politics. It’s a conundrum. We vote at 18. Kids go off to war at 18. I think the common military unit is often like a high school football team with guns. We’ll NEVER enforce a 25 year old voting age. Hell, we can’t even define what a citizen is anymore. I can. Common sense can. But then there’s California. Before these amazing, breaking brain discoveries were made, the old adage was that an adulthood/personality/life-path is usually formed at 21. “You are who you were at 21.” But I think now, that old adage needs to adjust to 25 thanks to neuro-science. Then come those haunting words. Injured. Brainwashed. Abused.  I think geographic and demographic brainwashing are the biggest deterrents to smarts, common sense and critical thinking. Then there’s just being a rebel for rebels sake. Its prehistoric! Like clockwork. Like the prehistoric teenage rebels in the movie…

But anyway…
– So cheer up, parents. If you can live through it, some teen-age monsters grow up and out of it.

– So cheer up America. If you can live through it, the teen-age monsters grow up and might think things through.


“I am just an unfrozen, teenage caveman. I don’t understand your cars and machines, your politics, the history of the world, math …”

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